Category Archives: Events

April is for the Birds. Save the Date.

April is for the Birds:
From Audubon’s Extraordinary Birds of America to the Indispensable Pocket Field Guides

Grab your binoculars and join us on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. for an hour of virtual birding, as we turn the pages of John James Audubon’s gigantic, hand painted Birds of America (1827-38). Rarely does the public have the opportunity to see this amazing four-volume work and when they do, it is usually only one plate through a sealed case. As we have done for our students, we will page through multiple volumes so you can experience the colossal scale of Audubon’s birds, painted life-size and then transferred to copper plates for the printing and painting of the published ‘double-elephant’ volumes.

Introducing us to Audubon’s remarkable work will be Rachael Z. DeLue, Christopher Binyon Sarofim ’86 Professor in American Art, Professor of Art and Archaeology and American Studies, and the current Chair of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator, will focus on master printer Robert Havell, Jr. who took Audubon’s paintings and transformed them into 435 aquatints. We will follow the trail that brought four tons of copper printing plates across the Atlantic and left several at Princeton University Library, where they remain today.

Next we will be joined by Robert Kirk, Publisher, Princeton Nature, with Princeton University Press who will bring us up to date with the field guides used by birders, from the amateur to the professional. Kirk not only acquires a broad range of nature reference titles, but he also works on a select number of fully interactive apps and will show some of their of the most recent titles. While Audubon’s oversize originals are rarely viewed, many of these authoritative guides are indispensable resources found in the pockets of conservation professionals worldwide.

This webinar is free and open to the general public, but we ask you to register:HERE

Recordings for previous webinar in the Special Collections Highlights Series can be viewed here. To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact pulcomm@princeton.edu at least 3 working days in advance.

March 26: Mithila Art in 2020: Life, Labor, and COVID-19 in South Asia

Don’t forget to register for Mithila Art in 2020: Life, Labor, and COVID-19 in South Asia, Friday morning at 10:00 am Eastern Times. This live webinar will highlight representations of the pandemic in South Asian art that were recently acquired by the Princeton University Library.

The panel discussion will include Amanda Lanzillo, Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows; Lina Vincent, art historian and curator based in Goa, India; and Peter Zirnis, curator and collector of Mithila art; hosted by Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator and Ellen Ambrosone, South Asian Studies Librarian.

Throughout 2020, artists in India have been engaging with pandemic-related themes that reflect the vast inequity with which the pandemic has manifested in the lives of South Asians. While some have managed to maintain safety and stability, many more have experienced food insecurity, displacement, disease, and loss of income. The Mithila art in Princeton’s collection expresses moments of both serenity and sorrow in the midst of the recent crisis. Panelists will discuss and reflect on the particular expressions of COVID-19 in this art, as well the impact of the pandemic on artisan labor and art markets.

Register by clicking here.

Date:
Friday, March 26, 2021
Time:
10:00am – 11:00am
Campus:
Virtual
Audience:
Public

This webinar is part of the Special Collections Highlights Series. Recordings of previous webinars are available. To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact pulcomm@princeton.edu at least 3 working days in advance.

Morning at Princeton 10:00 a.m. March 16, 2021, for the archives

 One year ago, Princeton students, faculty, and staff stayed home and classes went virtual. Today, we are back on campus although most classes remain virtual. Besides being a grey day not much has changed except parking lots are full again.

2020 above, 2021 below.


2020 above, 2021 below


2020 above, 2021 below

 

 

2020 above, 2021 below

2020 above, 2021 below

 

 

2020 above, 2021 below

 

 

Mithila Art in 2020: Life, Labor, and COVID-19 in South Asia

Shalini Karn, Faces of Corona, 2020. Acrylic on paper. Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process

 

Please join us at 10:00 am Eastern (daylight savings) time on Friday March 26, 2021, for the next in our series of webinars highlighting the graphic arts collection. Organized to coincide with the one year anniversary of India’s shutdown due to COVID-19, the March program is entitled: Mithila Art in 2020: Life, Labor, and COVID-19 in South Asia.


A panel discussion including Amanda Lanzillo, Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows; Lina Vincent, art historian and curator based in Goa, India; and Peter Zirnis, curator and collector of Mithila art, will be hosted by Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator, and Ellen Ambrosone, South Asian Studies Librarian.

 


Throughout 2020, artists in India have been engaging with pandemic-related themes that reflect the vast inequity with which the pandemic has manifested in the lives of South Asians. While some have managed to maintain safety and stability, many more have experienced food insecurity, displacement, disease, and loss of income.

The Mithila art in Princeton’s collection expresses moments of both serenity and sorrow in the midst of the recent crisis. Panelists will discuss and reflect on the particular expressions of COVID-19 in this art, as well the impact of the pandemic on artisan labor and art markets.

This webinar is free and open to the public, but please register here: https://libcal.princeton.edu/event/7351250


Date: Friday, March 26, 2021
Time: 10:00am – 11:00 am

This webinar is part of the Special Collections Highlights Series. View recordings of previous webinars here.

Previous webinars include:
May 2020: New Theories on the Oldest American Woodcut: The Portrait of Richard Mather by John Foster
June 2020: Thomas Eakins and the Making of Walt Whitman’s Death Mask
July 2020: Afrofuturism: The Graphics of Octavia E. Butler
Aug 2020: Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage
Sept 2020: The Books and Prints of Anaïs Nin and her Gemor Press
Dec 2020: Before Zoom, Pre-Cinema, Optical Devices Tour
Feb 2021: Acrobatics: Moving Through the Trans Archives
March 2021: Mithila Art in 2020: Life, Labor, and COVID-19 in South Asia
April 2021: April is for the Birds: Audubon and Field Guides

 

Gillett G. Griffin Memorial Lecture: Raina Lampkins-Fielder, Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Please join us for the annual Gillett G. Griffin Memorial Lecture with Raina Lampkins-Fielder, curator of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, as well as a program officer of the Foundation’s parent organization, the Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership, which supports the communities that gave rise to the 160 artists represented in its collection.

“The mission of Souls Grown Deep is twofold,” writes Lampkins-Fielder. “First, we have the foundation, established in 2010 to document, preserve, and promote the work of African-American artists from the southern states of the USA. Second, the Community Partnership Program, which focuses on supporting the communities that nurtured these artists, by fostering economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement.”

This virtual event will be 12:00 noon on Friday, March 5, 2021 and is open to the public but you must register: Here

The Gillett G. Griffin Memorial Lecture Series was being established in honor of our former colleague Gillett Good Griffin (1942-2016), who served as graphic arts curator within Special Collections from 1952 to 1966. Although officially the collection’s second curator, he was the first to establish a place for the graphic arts collection inside Firestone Library, along with galleries and study rooms where students were regularly and warmly welcomed.

Gillett’s passion for collecting began almost 70 years ago while he was a student at Yale University School of Art. His personal collection of Japanese prints, for instance, was begun as an undergraduate and later, when Gillett generously donated them to Princeton University Library, formed the basis for the department’s collection.

When we received the sad news of Gillett’s passing in June 2016, we wanted to find a way to not only commemorate the man but also his passion for bringing objects in the collection directly to the public and the public to the collection. To that end, we decided to select one of the great treasures acquired by Gillett for an in-depth investigation presented in a public memorial lecture.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact pulcomm@princeton.edu at least 3 working days in advance.

You might also enjoy this recent conversation with Raina Lampkins-Fielder and the artists Loretta Pettway Bennett & Mary Margaret Pettway organized by the Alison Jacques Gallery:

Loretta Pettway Bennett & Mary Margaret Pettway in conversation with Raina Lampkins-Fielder from Alison Jacques Gallery on Vimeo.

Save the date: Transgender webinar

Kyle Lukoff and Luciano Lozano, Call Me Max (New York, NY: Reycraft Books, 2019). Cotsen Childrens Library.

It is a coincidence that our upcoming webinar at 2:00 EST on Friday, February 26, 2021, comes just as the Murray School District in Utah has suspended their diversity book program due to the inclusion of an LGBTQ+ friendly title [above]. We hope you can join us for a timely conversation entitled Acrobatics: Moving Through the Trans Archives, meant to be a scholarly look at resources here in the Princeton University Library and elsewhere. Register here: https://libcal.princeton.edu/calendar/events/transarchives

 

We are thrilled to be joined by RL Goldberg (they/them), English Department and Associate Director, Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, in dialogue with queer book dealer, collector, and historian Gerard Koskovich (he/him); along with Sara Howard (she/her), Librarian for Gender and Sexuality Studies and Student Engagement, and Julie Mellby (she/her), Graphic Arts Curator.

Our title refers to the celebrated career of the 19th-century gender-fluid acrobat Mademoiselle Lulu (Sam Wasgott), with whom we begin our discussion. From there we will move through 20th and 21st century materials that define the trans archive, with an emphasis on race as well as gender.

From anonymous photo albums to publications both global in scope and origin, we will discuss our collections and the history of writers and publishers within the field of Trans Studies. What are the larger stories behind these materials that share with us lives as they were lived in the past and might be lived in the future?

As always, these monthly webinars are free and open to the public using Zoom but registration is required, here again is the link: https://libcal.princeton.edu/calendar/events/transarchives

Read more about what is happening in Utah:

https://lithub.com/this-utah-school-district-says-a-childrens-book-about-a-transgender-boy-is-inappropriate-and-we-have-questions/

https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-news/murray-school-district-suspends-diversity-book-program-over-complaints

Photographs top to bottom:

Unidentified photographer, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a child in costume, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

E[dward] Gregson, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a man, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

Claude Cahun (1894-1954), “I am in training, don’t kiss me,” Self-Portrait, ca. 1926.

 

You might be interested in listening to several Princeton oral histories here, such as Nancy Lamar’s recording: https://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/AC465?v1=transgender&f1=kw&rpp=10&start=0
or a Princeton Alumni Weekly article: https://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW05-06/12-0419/features_nadeau.html

Acrobatics: Moving Through the Trans Archives

 

Please join us at 2:00 EST on Friday, February 26, 2021, for a live webinar highlighting Transgender Studies, past and present, in Princeton University Library collections and private archives. We are thrilled to be joined by RL Goldberg (they/them), English Department and Associate Director, Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, in dialogue with queer book dealer, collector, and historian Gerard Koskovich (he/him); along with Sara Howard (she/her), Librarian for Gender and Sexuality Studies and Student Engagement, and Julie Mellby (she/her), Graphic Arts Curator.

 

Beginning with the celebrated career of the 19th-century gender-fluid acrobat Mademoiselle Lulu (Sam Wasgott), we will move through 20th and 21st century materials that define the trans archive, with an emphasis on race as well as gender. From anonymous photo albums to publications both global in scope and origin, we will discuss our collections and the history of writers and publishers within the field of Trans Studies. What are the larger stories behind these materials that share with us lives as they were lived in the past and might be lived in the future?

As always, these monthly webinars are free and open to the public using Zoom but registration is required, here is the link: https://libcal.princeton.edu/calendar/events/transarchives

Photographs top to bottom:

Unidentified photographer, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a child in costume, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

E[dward] Gregson, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a man, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

Claude Cahun (1894-1954), “I am in training, don’t kiss me,” Self-Portrait, ca. 1926.

 

You might be interested in listening to several oral histories here, such as Nancy Lamar’s recording: https://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/AC465?v1=transgender&f1=kw&rpp=10&start=0
or a Princeton Alumni Weekly article: https://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW05-06/12-0419/features_nadeau.html

Ragamuffin Day cancelled


“The entire Ragamuffin Parade Committee is heartbroken,” wrote the 2020 committee, “that we will be disappointing so many children and, of course, their parents by not having this big, fun event along Third Avenue this year.”

 

Don Freeman (1908-1978), Dress Up Day, ca. 1936. Lithograph.

First held on Thanksgiving in 1870, American children would dress as beggars or street urchins and go door to door asking for candy and pennies. Eventually, uncontrolled begging was replaced with an annual costume parade. Last held in Manhattan around 1956, the parade was revived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and continues along Ragamuffin Way each year (except during the present Covid 19 epidemic).

James Greenwood (1832-1929), The True History of a Little Ragamuffin (London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, 1867). Not yet at Princeton University Library. See David Croal Thomson , Life and labours of Hablôt Knight Browne, “Phiz” (London, Chapman and Hall, 1884). Graphic Arts Collection oversize 2008-0463Q. 20-volume set, extra-illustrated with tipped-in works by Browne, including: etchings (some hand-colored); engravings; aquatints; lithographs; wood engravings; pencil drawings (some with added gouache); pen and ink washes; watercolors; one albumen photograph of a drawing; illustrated letters; and book covers.

 

 

https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.princeton.edu/docview/1830982791/B3CDF9747F384D93PQ/1?accountid=13314

Before Zoom, Pre-Cinema, Optical Devices Tour

Remember 2:00 p,m, EST on Friday, December 4, 2020

 

One day Gillett Griffin, Graphic Arts Curator 1953-1966, was working on the 2nd floor of Firestone library and a graduate student named William Mackenzie walked in. It seems his Scottish aunt had this big wood thing in her attic she wanted to get rid of and would Gillett like it for the collection? Happily he said yes.

The gigantic optical device [left] known as an alethoscope was added to the graphic arts collection. Because of its size, we call this a Mega-alethoscope or megalethoscope and there are only a handful of these beautiful devices in the United States. In fact, if you look it up in Wikipedia, you will see Princeton’s megalethoscope.

Patented by Carlo Ponti in 1861, the slides for this deluxe viewer are albumen silver prints on stretched canvas, with holes or layers so that when light comes from the front, you see a daytime scene and when light comes from the back, day turns to night.

 

The evolution of images and image viewing is of equal importance to the evolution of words. The optical devices are not simply toys or novelties but important evidence documenting image viewing over the last 500 years.

 

 

 

 

Please join us at 2:00 EST on Friday, December 4, 2020, for a free webinar highlighting our collection of pre-zoom, pre-cinema optical devices, rare artifacts designed for shared public entertainment or personal moments of wonder, leading up to the invention of the motion picture.

Through a series of live webcams (yikes, not prerecorded), we will attempt the phantasmagoria experienced in the past as we peer into 18th-century peepshows, twirl phenakistoscopes, open a gigantic megalethoscope and crank a miniature cinematograph. Feel the sense of wonder as still images come to life, turning day to night, causing volcanoes to erupt, and conjuring faces to rise from anamorphic chaos.

We will be joined by Christopher Collier, Executive Director, and Jesse Crooks, Operations Director and Head Projectionist for Renew Theaters, who will share some of the history and treasures of Princeton’s Garden Theater.

As always, this one hour session is free and open to the pubic but you need to register to get the invitation link: Register here.

 

 

 

 

 

Seen here are a variety of 18th-century hand colored prints and 19th-century photographs, each used in a different type of viewing device.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Virtual Diwali

With our local BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robinsville NJ closed due to Covid 19, celebrate today’s Diwali online: https://www.baps.org/

Decoration and celebration from last year:

Princeton writes: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton University has had to make the difficult decision to make its undergraduate program of education fully remote for Fall 2020. In addition, the university has amended its visitors’ policy; in order to safeguard everyone’s healthy and safety, public programing is no longer possible. As a result we will not be holding our Diwali at the Chapel celebration in 2020.

This year, we present DIVYA JYOTI: A Virtual Diwali Offering of the Princeton University Hindu Life Program on YouTube. We will premier DIVYA JYOTI on Saturday, November 14 at 6pm ET here.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXI_S3tzWojr218Ik-Q63iQ

See also: Ghānim, Muḥammad Ḥāfiẓ. al-Mas’ūlīyah al-dawlīyah dirasah li-Ahkam al-Kanum al-Diwali walitatbikatuha allati tahum aldual al-Arabyia … (Alqahira (Cairo), Jama’t al-Dual al-Arabyia, Ma’had al-Dirasat al-Arabyia al-A’liah, [1962]) Near East Collections (NEC) KZ4080 .G436 1962

What is Diwali: